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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now i know this is always a touchy topic, but maybe with this forum being moderated for flaming and trolling maybe we can get some results!!

Now previously i hadn't had the oppurtunity to mix OTB (aside from live which i still can't make my mind up... if its a permanent install then i think i prefer analog, just because i like things i can touch, but if its a setup and then op, then digital because it saves SO much time) aside from my little soundcraft mixer which isn't really that great.

Just recently i've gotten a job as an engineer at a commercial studio with an SSL. My god its nice to play with knobs and switches again.

That being said, i still actually like the sheer range of plugins and things i can do in digital. All in all i think a hybrid will always be the best, but if i had to choose between ITB and OTB... i honestly don't know what i'd choose. I'd probably go OTB, but only if i had a nice selection of outboard, i think stacking the same quality on each channel sometimes isn't the best thing, i like variety.

But thats me. What about you guys?
 

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mmmm.... my fast answer would be Hybrid... the variety of plugins and a nice desk with an assortment of premium outboard gear... that's what platinum is made of!!

I really think there are a lot of nice plugins that rival some outboard processing or even surpass it.

What I don't like about ITB mixing is all the bussing and routing in the digital domain degrades the quality of the sound... that's what I hear anyway.

So give me a discreet out for every channel feed it to a nice desk! doesn't matter if you are pre-processing a channel with plugins. I think that is still what sets studios and project studios aside!!

That said... I currently do all my music mixes ITB. That's the way things roll now... If I had only a chance (or a budget)...

Now for post production mixing (i.e. film) I don't think I have heard any amazing sound mixed ITB... I don't really like Icon Mixing.... again I think summing signals in a computer (and you have a LOT of signals for a film mix) doesn't sound quite right...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Actually sort of off the main topic, but if anyone has a suggestion of a nice analogue desk (32 channels plus to actually do most modern mixes) for under 50 grand please speak up!

Just interested to see what else is there apart from SSL (which granted you can get under 50 grand if you're lucky) neve and API that can still play with the big boys.

I'm at the stage at my career where i need to begin thinking about whether i want to freelance for the next 10+ years or start saving for my own rig.


I think people tell you that you can make world class mixes ITB, which is definately true, but i reckon atleast 90% of all top 40 mixes were done on a console with outboard gear.
 

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i mix hybrid in that the daw faders are at 0db sometimes plugs are used on channels and everything is routed to the console with inserted outboard stuff. i guess its OTB
 

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i mix hybrid in that the daw faders are at 0db sometimes plugs are used on channels and everything is routed to the console with inserted outboard stuff. i guess its OTB
well... if you use protools (or any other DAW) just as a multitrack playback device I would say it's OTB. But you mention you use plugs... and I'm pretty sure you edit stuff on the DAW... that on my book is hybrid.:ponder:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well how about we determine that mixing OTB is level setting, eqs, comps etc. Editing isn't really possible on a console :p

I suppose you could still say its OTB if the plugs you are using are a bit set and forget (lookahead gates or something thats only in digital so used only because its not available as OTB)
 

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Yep, some very nice plugins with a whole room full of high-end outboard gear. That would be Hybrid to me.

Need to see the colorful lights and touch the faders of my desk.
 

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I'm mixing more and more ITB since I acquired a Liquid Mix to emulate classic compressors. Sometimes I like to use an outboard reverb unit, but I'm looking at the Lexicon native bundle to maybe keep my TCs in their racks for live.

The honest answer is whatever suits the sound and does the job, but ITB is getting so good. Nothing beats throwing up a mix on a large console for fel and speed, but I have no room in my production studio for that calibre of gear, so it's 99% ITB for me now...

>
 

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I .... like all of us .... would really like a hybrid approach ... and have the choice of the best of both worlds ... but that's an expensive proposition ....
One work-around not yet mentioned ( though seems to be becoming more common in recent products ... like some of the Tascam , and Presonus kit ) .. is having the 'mixer' work as a control surface .. In essence ... having a more 'analogue- knobbed' desk ... controlling your usual DAW .. with it's stack of plug-ins ....

Cheers ,

Evan .
 

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We do it OTB, using the DAW mainly as a multitrack/editor, with a few plugins here or there (mainly for surgical EQs).

I'm very happy with it like that, but it sure is a (much) heavier investment, and eats up a lot of electricity...

But having a big analog desk (ours is actually a digitally controlled analog one) also makes your place look like the real big thing...so I guess it's also a matter of what your customers expect to see, compared to what they pay...
 

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I mix in the box 100% they have plugins that emulate hardware.
I agree that ITB mixing is far better than it was a few years ago. Some plugins have really nailed some hardware gear. Like I stated before, at this moment I have to do most of my mixing inside the box. Having said that, I think the sound you get from mixing within a DAW has less to do with the plugin sound and more with the actual signal summing that occurs in the digital domain. But then again, maybe that's my own idea.
There are also great pieces of hardware that somehow bring a signal to life in a way that a plugin just doesn't cut it.

On the other hand discussion got me thinking about the concept that I had of hybrid. Does having a PT system as a playback editing and recording device and doing the mixing on a desk really qualify as hybrid mixing? It now seems to me that such approach is more like OTB mixing with a digital multitrack playback system with a capability of pre-filtering some tracks.

Maybe a more hybrid approach would be mixing within protools using outboard gear to do some processing maybe even doing multitrack output of some stems for final mixing with a nice outboard line mixer.
 

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Nothing beats hardware comps though IMO. software EQ and stuff is fine with me, but the difference in sound between hardware and software comps is pretty big to my ears.

I also prefer outboard effects.
 

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Does having a PT system as a playback editing and recording device and doing the mixing on a desk really qualify as hybrid mixing?
Think that's OTB, not hybrid.

I'm using a lot of plugins with PT, on most tracks. I use a mixing desk to get all my tracks mixed and use outboard gear such as compressors, effects, de-esser etc. etc.

I think that would qualify as hybrid.

Nothing beats hardware comps though IMO. software EQ and stuff is fine with me, but the difference in sound between hardware and software comps is pretty big to my ears.

I also prefer outboard effects.
+1
 

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ITB, but have tube preamps.

About the quality of the ITB summing:
I recall a small (BIG) comment from a guy who compared summing in PT, Logic and Cubase (same computer, same setup, same audio tracks, etc...).

Well, believe or not they are NOT the same.

My very 1st album was mixed on Mackie digital desk, further works were mixed on an analog Mackie mixer (very recognizable sound), but today all is ITB for me.

Intermezzo note:
I had a chance to "touch" the TOFT mixer, it gives very ear-pleasing sound.
I have also spent many fruitful minutes with the TOFT desk designer and he was not really hiding any information about his desks. Although the today's designers/engineers have a very powerful simulation tools for a design/optimization, he said that NOT the best design gives the best sound. And we have discussed long long about phase shifts and so on...

I have tried to convince him to write a book about his career, sound, mixing and desk building, but I did not succeed.
 

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Hi Triffid ,

I have also done a similar subjective test of entry level DAWs ... Same tracks/equipment .. and also noted sonic differences ... The test included Cubase , ProTools , Sonar , Samplitude .. and an Akai DPS 16 ... and I posted the results to http://www.digitalmusicdoctor.com ( whose forums seem now gone ??? ) I did note distinct difference in sound between them , which I was unable to explain through even the most granular spectral analyisis .... so did suspect it came down to slight phase shifting ( or not ) .... between them ...

Cheers ,

Evan .
 
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